You know which song is Francis humming these days?
If you ask me, he goes around humming this one…
“Ah… Ah… Ah… Ah…
Staying alive… Staying alive…. “
I get it.
Back to serious blogging now…
From today's Vatican press release.
Text in black. Meaning in red.
Telephone calls ” do not in any way form part of the Pope's public activity”.
The man is a maverick even when he speaks in public. Stop giving any importance to what he would have said in private. Whether true or not. No, really.
The “media amplifications” “cannot be confirmed as reliable”
Stop behaving like excited girlies everytime someone with an agenda says the Pope has now changed the rules to please her. Professional journalists who ride this every time chasing exciting news are particularly despicable.
… And are “source of misunderstanding and confusion”
We are fed up with this novelty frenzy everytime the old man has a chat on the phone. You are using the man to attack Catholicism. We know he is too vain or thick to understand it, but we are truly fed up with both him and the press.
“Consequences relating to the teaching of the church are not to be inferred from these occurrences”
Note for the “Daily Homograph”: Church teaching isn't changed via private phone calls. Not even if the one making the phone call is a raving Modernist.
And it came to pass the Bishop of Rome made another humble intercontinental call to give some hope and change to a landswoman of him, obviously feeling the need for a good old chat in Spanish.
This is a man even journalists have problems in reporting in a way that makes halfway sense, and generally try to isolate the snippets in which Francis might actually, have conveyed some kind of real information. But journalists generally do not have any direct and personal interests in what Francissays; besides, there are other journalists there, so one cannot understand what he pleases.
Not so for the woman on the other side of Francis' chatty phone. She lives in sin with her concubine; which, I am told, is rather a problem in her religion. Tellingly, though, she does not seem worried, or perhaps even aware, of her sinful condition. Therefore, she writes to the Bishop and say she would like to receive communion, but.. will she not contravene the rules of the Church?
My unworthy reflections:
1. Argentina has a lot of priests. Bad as many of them certainly are, I dare to say they would all have the right answer here. Perhaps they already did, and the woman thought “if catholic priests think I am in sin, I should ask the Pope, because he is clearly different from them”.
2. The situation of the lady seems to me akin of the one of the murderer who wonders whether it is against the rules of the Church not to give Christian burying to the man he has just killed. I mean, she lives in an adulterous concubinage and she is worried that she might transgress Church rules by making communion?
3. The woman clearly has an agenda. She wants to hear that she is fine. Fine – implicitly – in her concubinage, and fine in her taking communion. Look at her, everybody. What a nice gal.
4. Again: even journalists have problem in understanding what on earth Bergoglio means whenever he opens her mouth. Imagine what the woman will understand. I tell you what she will understand: what she had decided she would hear.
5. It is a sign of the stupidity of our times that fourth hand gossip lands on a newspaper. Imagine the Bishop speaking to a prostitute, who then posts a message to her lesbian lover, which is read by others, who alert a third-rate journalist, who writes a third-class article. Don't you think it will turn out Francis has said if she needs money for her and her “loved one” she may sell her body? I thought this Bishop had compared gossip to murder?
6. Good Lord almighty: we have to do with a Bishop of Rome so deprived of any sense of decency that when he wants to commit liturgical abuses, insult Our Lord or the Blessed Virgin or promise salvation to atheists “following their conscience” he does so for all the world to see without the slightest embarrassment. If he wanted to send the message it is fine for public adulterers to receive, don't you think he would just go on and do it in front of the cameras? He has already baptised the child of concubines, but never given communion to known concubines themselves. Even Francis sees the difference. So much so, that he has concocted an extraordinary synod to try to get around it without being damned by his successors for all eternity as heretic. The idea of the woman, and of the journalists, Francis has suddenly both become very shy and forgotten he cannot be seen as authorising sacrilege tout court is simply nonsense.
7. In cauda venenum. All this happens because we have a disgraceful Pope in love with his own popularity, with no idea of sound Catholicism, prone to stunts of all sorts, with a sovereign contempt for decency, and not very intelligent. A halfway decent Pope would never make such calls in the first place; even if he were able to put three phrases in a row that make some sense.
The trash press (like the Homograph) has gone on this immediately, with the usual girly excitement of the local queens.
The intellectual standards of his country are falling toward shanty town level.
Thanks to the stupidity of our not-so-beloved V II clergy, Catholics the world over are going to be put to a hard test in four days' time.
I have already written on the matter, and have since not found any evidence to the contrary that the infallibility of the canonisations concerns merely the fact that the canonised person is in Heaven. In other words, neither the heroic virtues nor being, say, a halfway acceptable Pope are infallible requirements for the purpose.
Which makes a lot of sense. If Joan of Arc is canonised, must the English become supporters of France? Does the canonisation make of Celestine V a good Pope? And where exactly would the heroic virtue to be seen in St. Dismas for pretty much the entire duration of his life, and his chosen, ahem, profession, bar those hours on the Golgotha? Did Christ ask him to pass a decade-long trial, and prove a life of heroic virtue? No, he made Dismas santo subito instead.
Or let us look at the other side and let us say canonisations are not, and have never been, infallible. What are they then: pious suggestions? Strong hints that someone might be in heaven? “Oh dear Padre Pio, unless the Pope was wrong, please intercede for me!” Hhmmm, doesn't sound like much to me…
“Oh, but you must pick one about whom you are persuaded! Then it will be all fine!” some of you might say. But come on, if it comes to that then it is our personal opinion that really counts, and the entire concept of canonisations crumbles. Say: I do not need any Pope to be practically persuaded that Pius XII is in heaven. Padre Pio had a mystical vision of him in heaven, and Padre Pio's conviction is good enough for me every day of the week. But there is no need for canonisation for that. Barring the obvious concept that in the end only God decides, people didn't need to wait for St Francis' canonisation in order to have an extremely strong degree of confidence that he was in heaven, either.
No. If you ask me, Canonisations can only reasonably mean, if we want to give them the sense most Catholics have always given to them, that in this matter God will not allow mistakes. Because if He did, then there would never be any additional security given by the canonisation, and we would all go back to the “servant of God” scenario: the dearly departed was a very saintly man because of abundant and widely proved examples, and it is therefore very probable that he is in heaven. Unless we are mistaken. Which we could be. Always. Even if he is canonised. Does this make sense? Is this reasonable? Are we of such little faith that we start to doubt God's work whenever things happen we do not like?
Or look at it from the other side: if JP II is not in heaven, why would God allow a canonisation that is, has always been and will always be considered by most Catholics a most solemn, infallible assurance of beatific vision, and company with God? Would God not protect this pious belief, or prevent it from taking such solid roots in the Christian thinking? How can it be that the belief in the infallibility of canonisation – though not, properly speaking, dogmatically declared – could spread in such a way and be so strong after 2000 years? Why would, for example, God have allowed that the canonisation be extended beyond, so to speak, historically safe, “certified” martyrs?
It does not make sense to me. It is like stating that God has allowed the Church to believe what is wrong for 2,000 years. At this point, everything that has not been dogmatically and infallibly declared could be questioned, too, because hey: if it's not officially infallible, then it's everyone's guess.
I rather think this: that if either John or John Paul are not in heaven, the Holy Ghost has inspired Francis not to proceed with the canonisations, but Francis has, with typical stubborn rebellion, decided it was all merely a chimaera of his fantasy, a bad mood of an impressionable old man. And then in the next very few days he will have to die, or will be put in the impossibility of proceeding to the canonisations; because God allows Francis to fool men; but He Himself, He will not be fooled.
Rejoice, therefore. If these disgraceful – because of the message they send, and the V II propaganda they are meant to encourage – canonisations are a lie, the lie will not come to pass, and we might get rid of a disastrous Pope to boot. If they come to pass, they aren't a lie, and we will do what we as Catholics do: believe, obey, and be glad for other people's blessings.
Which does not mean you have to approve this or that Pontificate.
No one ever asked you to approve of highway robbery because of St. Dismas, either.
These people are truly ready for the madhouse.
They would need medical attention, but I am sure they refuse Western medicine anyway.
It’s truly scary.
These people vote. I mean, unless they are incapacitated they at least have the right to.
Scary. No, really.
Many thanks to reader Jewel, who alerted me to the existence of such articles.
Now that you have been brave, recover and relax with Ali-G’s take on tree-huggers and the two first-class gayboys teaching him non-violent resistance …
Originally posted on Mundabor's Blog:
I remember very well my sadness at the rapid disappearance – and most people said: inevitable extinction – of the traditional mechanical wristwatch in favour of the new quartz one. It seemed to me an entire world was dying, and an entire planet was embracing a soulless technology and killing the beauty, the magic and, yes, the poetry of craftsmanship. Small firms – then – like Blancpain and Chronoswiss decided this was too stupid, and the surrender to the power of quartz by no means unavoidable. They started producing watches for people who love beauty, and do not live by the second. This was the turning of the tide. A few years later, the mechanical wristwatch was already established as the timepiece at the wrist of the discerning – if, back then, pretty solvent – man of taste. Today, mass production of perfectly affordable, excellent mechanical wristwatches is all but…
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There are interesting reflections around concerning what to do to have more vocations. Certainly, we must pray. Certainly, we can support the idea of vocations among the young in our environment. But if you ask me, the best way to more vocations is to have better priests.
I still remember very well my formative years, and looking back it is clear to me the office of priest was not considered by anyone as in the least desirable, not even by mistake. The reason for this is that most of the priests we had around us – and in the Italy of those times you had many priests around you, both in your place of residence and at school – had a common and distinctive trait: they looked, sounded, and even smelled, ashamed to be priests.
There was a kind of hierarchy of un-priestliness. There were those who were silently but obviously embarrassed, those who were more ostentatiously “modern” and those who were outright dissenters – the priest who whispered at school that the devil does not exist, in an heroic effort of blasphemy meant to let us understand how very courageous he was, I will never forget -. But all of them seemed to have the same slogan, a kind of “unglorious” one: the least Catholic, the better.
If the priest is ashamed himself of being a priest, who will want to become like him? If the priest is the very epitome of the uncool, pathetic loser, who will want to follow in his steps? And this is, in fact, what they pretty much all were: pathetic losers, ashamed to be priests; lives to be pitied, and an example not to be followed. The priest of those times was a cautionary tale.
This phenomenon created another one: the attempt to gain credibility not by being a true priest, but – in a suicidal, and not very manly move – by being something else: the “modern priest”, the “good friend”, the “nice chap”, the “favourite uncle”. The automatic self-divesting of any form of authority made of them, for all the world to see, unquestioned beta males deprived of true manliness, because manliness is always linked with assertiveness, self-assuredness, and a quiet but still very public show of testosterone.
Every man, but particularly adolescents, smell authority and manliness like the hound smells the fox. Not everyone has the natural assertiveness to be a natural leader, to be one to whom others look up to; but absolutely no one has the desire to be, for all the world to see, the last wolf in the pack. Such a one is not very manly at all, and could actually have problems of graver nature. Which is, I think, the origin and motive of many “vocations” in those years.
And so we have, I think, a faithful picture of perhaps 80% of the Western priesthood up to this day: no manliness, no authority, no “coolness” around them. Boys look at them, and pity them. As they well should, and as I do myself. They are embarrassed to be priests, and try to be as little of a priest as they can. As a consequence, they are embarrassing to be around.
Away goes sin; hell follows soon thereafter; “joy” is everywhere. Some time ago, I listened to a homily of a Cardinal. He sounded like a girl making a motivational talk for old aunts in a holiday resort. By all the authority given by the office, the red robe, and the choreography, he still smelled of girly loser. Who would want to be such a tool? Mind, this here was a Cardinal, helped by the trappings of the office. The girly parish priest truly has no chance with the boys.
A priest must be assertive, manly, unashamedly Catholic, outspoken, and with no hint of sissidom in him. He must be a shepherd, not a dry nurse. The shepherd has a rod, and he uses it. The shepherd leads his flock towards green pastures, he does not ask the sheep “where they want to go today”. The priest must be a natural leader, because a priest has to be a leader if he is to be successful. The priest has to be uncomfortable, harsh when needed, and quietly manly when he is gentle.
These are the priests who produce priests. These are the men who will cause boys to say “I want to become one like him”. These are men whose very demeanour will say to those around them that they are willing to die for their cause; which is as manly as it gets, and will be smelled by the boys around them like the above mentioned hounds smell the above mentioned fox. Not many will follow in his steps. But the admiration will – with God's grace – cause some of them to fo it. You must impress dozen to get one vocation to blossom, because this vocation will be nurtured from the respect or outright admiration surrounding the priest.
Boys will be boys, and their vocation must go with their nature, not against them. They must feel encouraged to use their own faith to channel the natural assertiveness, even aggressiveness, of the male of the species towards the higher goal of saving souls, of being shepherds of souls. This is one of the 1,374 reasons why women are not fit to be priest. Women are nurturers, not shepherds. God save us from a manly woman. There are two sexes for a reason, and this is the same reason why only those of one sex can be priests.
If you ask me, it's as simple as that. In the Seventies the priests were at their most stupid (the “worker priest”, the “social priest”; the Jorge Bergoglio types) and the vocations were at their lowest. As the worst excesses went away, the vocations slowly increased. Strong religious orders continue to create strong vocations to this day – so much so, that the Jorge Bergoglio types must crush them to deflect from their own bitchy incompetence – and the situation slowly, but gradually, improves. In the meantime, the Jorge Bergoglio types cause their seminaries to close. May their ruins be visible from afar, and be a monument to human stupidity.
But we need more of these good priests. The Brompton Oratory is always packed. You listen to them, and you know how a true vocation sounds, and how a real man speaks.
The boys listen, and learn.
Vocations are aplenty. No closures to be feared there.
Hope you have been good on Earth Day and have cut a tree in front of a tree-hugger, just to show the followers of the new religion that no, trees have no human rights; babies in the womb have.
You haven't, you say?
Neither have I.
Too much sweat for a quiet writing nature like myself.
But it would have been worth a video, for sure.
Originally posted on Mundabor's Blog:
“Il Mio Papa” (“My Pope”) has hit the newsstands on the 5th of March. The second number is already available by your favourite newsagent, and this being a creature of Mondadori, the biggest publisher in Italy (yes, Berlusconi-owned if you need to know) you can be sure they will wait a while before pulling the plug, even if the venture were not to work as hoped.
It will be great fun. I am sure at the “Eye of the Tiber” they are preparing themselves already.
I am eagerly waiting for the internet presence to go live, but the already announced http://www.miopapa.it is not live yet.
From what I have known by googling around on Italian websites, the magazine has the following features:
1. Lots of photos. Big ones. They have to fill 68 pages every week, you know. Ok, half will probably be advs for condoms and the like…
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And it came to pass Francis did it again, regaling us with another full-blown liturgical abuse for all the world to see.
This year is, though, even worse than last year. Because if last year one could have said – making a big effort in optimism – that Francis did not have the time to change the liturgical rules, this year we know that he really doesn't give a straw for rules, at all.
The message here is twice subversive because the deliberation and subversive attitude are twice as evident. One year of time to avoid a new liturgical abuse, and the same outcome as last year.
What is Francis saying with his attitude? He is saying that rules don't count; they don't really much count for anyone (¡vaya lío!), but they particularly don't count for him, because he smells of the sheep and is therefore above such minutiae as adhering to rules meant to protect the sacredness and reverence of the liturgy.
Nothing, for Francis, is made for Christ. His gaze is intently fixed here below; as a consequence, whatever pushes his secular agenda – like the new gospel of inclusiveness and new non-evangelisation – must perforce take precedence over any rule concerning something so ultimately irrelevant as Heaven; where everyone is forgiven, and everyone is going to go anyway in the end.
But Francis' main message is probably not the invitation to disobedience, but rather the renewed stressing of his own Very Specially Humble status. It is obvious by now that in his world there is no space for basic humility, or obedience. He arrogantly proclaims himself above the law, and above the law in a way that goes beyond the mere exercise of power – he could have done so by changing the liturgical rules concerning the viri probati – and clearly becomes the banner of his own alleged uniqueness as the Truly Wonderful New Type Of Humble Pontiff. This is not a Pope saying to us he will use his papal prerogatives. This is a Pope saying to us he is so special, so different and so much better than his predecessors, that he does not even need to care about exercising them.
Ipse fecit. Therefore, it must be fine.
This attitude is not only arrogant, but also convenient. If Francis had changed the liturgical rules concerning the washing of the feet such a choir of protests would have ensued, that he would have been shamed by the community of sound theologians and canonists the world over. His obvious betrayal of the real meaning of the ceremony would have been denied not only in the behaviour, but in the very law. He clearly did not want it, at least for now. He prefers the easy worldwide publicity, but without having to officially take a stance, and defend it against the opinion of his predecessors.
Finally, I allow myself to add a last observation: this man is, fundamentally, what in Italy we call cafone: a boor. Boors do not waste much time thinking of rules. They are wired differently, or better said they lack that kind of wiring that causes one to appreciate the proper way of doing things. Francis shows all the symptoms of the type. Remember the empty chair at the Beethoven concert? That was Francis at his most authentic. Francis does not care for rules of proper behaviour – liturgical, or otherwise – because he is, literally, below caring.
Francis cares for his own image first, second and third, and only after that for his own particular way of social revanchism with the excuse of Christ. He is above the rules, above any of his predecessors, above Doctrine, and very often above basic decency. He calls himself “bishop”, but shows an arrogance unknown to his predecessors of the recent centuries. He is the metre of everything, hovers about every rule – even his own – and does not care a straw about the scandal he gives.
Francis über alles. As seen, for the second time, on Maundy Thursday.
In Italy we say: si dice il peccato, ma non il peccatore (“one says the sin, but not the sinner”).
In this case, the sin is, in essentials, not one of lack of orthodoxy, or betrayal of Catholicism – something the blogger in question has often done, and will do more in future; and which would prompt me to be rather open about it – but of mere, or you might say human, vanity.
Therefore, I allow myself to, ahem, rework a recently appeared blog post of this particular blogger without shaming the person as such.
Those who were to find the original post are kindly asked to do the same.
For the moment, allow this to be my “Happy Easter” to you.
And please, in your charity, consider saying a prayer for the blogger, even if you don’t know who he or she is.
Chicken Transfiguration At Charing Cross Station: An Edible Quasi-Mystical Experience.
I had an epiphany some days ago. I need to tell you this so that you may understand what an awfully fine chap I am. I know too many of you think I am just an obese glutton shamelessly riding his family name, but this is not the case. I assure you: I truly am as good as I think I am.
And so it happened this way. I wanted to meet some new Catholic friends, but when they showed up it turned out they were Hindus and Muslims. I should have understood it on the spot, but I admit I took a while to understand why some sported those turbans, and those long beards. One never ceases to learn.
I never talk about Catholic issues when I am with non-Catholics, because I love inclusiveness as much as I love piling on the pasta; so I had to re-adjust my little conversation with them. No Catholicism, please. God-is-luv fluff. You know the stuff.
Yes, I was good. You know I always am, because I always hint at it. Anyway. Where was I? Yes. I was good, I was saying (where was I?… oh… erm… well) but I left the company feeling somewhat dissatisfied. Being so good, I always want to do better, you know. That’s how you create excellence.
I was, then, wondering: was I banal enough? Were my platitudes sufficiently inclusive? Did I avoid Catholic issues with enough zeal, or did perhaps something slip in my words that hurt my audience, and let them feel not welcome?
I was reflecting about all this with half my brains, whilst the other half was doing what it always does: think about food.
Therefore I steered, as if remote-controlled, the next eatery. There, with a pint of Guinness in my hand (I never tell my readers about the twelve donuts; it does not read well, you see; but then again it’s unhealthy to drink alcohol without some little tapas…) , I just stopped and looked at people.
I love looking at people, you must know. I think: what will that chap over there eat for dinner tonight? And the woman coming out of Platform Seven, isn’t she even fatter than I am? What about that boy: will he prefer ketchup or mayonnaise with his fries? And speaking of mayo: what will I eat for dinner? Since my last nightmare, which included celery and carrots, I must eat at least a pound of beef every day, you know. Carrots are not good with a pint of Guinness, anyway. Most crucially: will another half dozen donuts help bridging the time?
Now, my affectionate readers know that besides being the most obscenely blind of Pollyannas, and sabotaging Catholic teaching whenever it lets me looks inclusive, good and charitable, I am always mindful of letting my readers know, in subtle and oblique ways, about my own astonishing goodness. This is because everyone knows I am a first-class glutton, so I must balance that out; and as I have noticed that people never tell me of me how saintly or at least very special I am, I will have to do it myself.
And so I had an epiphany. Whilst I was there, holding the pint in my hand I told you about – and diving into the donuts I did not tell you about – something happened. Cynical bastards like that blogger chap with the Pius XII photo would think it was an excess of sugar in my blood, or a moment of confusion caused by the blood going away from my brain and flooding where it was, at that moment, most urgently needed: my stomach. But hey, whatever the cause, the fact is that for one moment the world stopped.
Now, please follow me closely here. I am not as stupid as to tell you I had a mystical experience, or such like. Everyone knows people don’t have mystical experiences and write about them in blogs. I know my readership isn’t made of eagles (we do extreme Pollyann-ing in my blog; so yes, quite), but they aren’t sooo dumb, either. I don’t like eagles, by the way. I prefer hens. Or chicken. KFC ones, for example.
Sorry, it’s that when I talk of food… where was I again?
Oh. Yes. I mean: no.
No. I had something. Something, you see, profound (because I am profound; and I’ll let you acknowledge it, if I have to bang on it until I have digested a whale), and very very special; but something that I – as in every mystical mini-experience worthy of the name; though I can’t call it that way, see… – cannot really define.
But I will try. For you. And because I am so good.
It was as if the world had stopped, and Colonel Sanders had been looking at me.
He was there. Huge. Smiling at me like it’s going out of fashion. Full of reassuringly white hair.
He was not in flesh and blood, though. He was printed on the side of a gigantic bucket full of delightful, “finger lickin’ good” chicken pieces. Two huge chicken (or hens) were standing besides him.
It was like Chicken Transfiguration, or Nugget Nirvana. I’ll never forget that.
He was saying to me: ” “O000h, Mundaaabor! How oooften I have wanted to gather your readers together, and tell them of the deliiiiicious taste of my chicken wings! But you wouldn’t let meeeee!”
It was the shortest of moments. A flash in the pan, as I say. A mere glimpse. Less, I think, than I need to gobble down a creme-filled donut. And believe me, I am good at that.
It was beautiful. Profound. It was so beautifully cooked, tender, succulent; the breadcrumbs just crispy enough, but not too much. A potentially life-changing experience.
Stop here please, and admire me. What is this all about, if not me?
Since then, nothing has been all right.
I cannot go on as I used to. That face, that particularly delicious, huge bucket, and the two Giant Hens simply persecute me.
It was, as I have already said, redolent of the Transfiguration, though it was even more vividly redolent of fried chicken. But in my case it was rather different. It was as if the Two Great Hens In The Sky had appeared and had said to me “We are the archetype of all KFC mega buckets. Come to us, oh you who hunger, and we will give you the barbecue sauce, too”.
All it’s different now. So please notice, I am halfway talking this down, but you must know by now this is life-changing.
Serious stuff. Spiritual. Profound.
I am, as I have already told you, so very sensitive. Therefore, I do not know what this experience will make of me.Will I leave chocolate donuts and give my full allegiance to cinnamon? Is cream orthodox enough? Should I become a donuts traditionalist?
Already I feel that I cannot blog about political issues anymore; not because it’s becoming uncomfortable to say things even remotely contrary to what the angry mob of liberals and sodomites thinks, and I need to retreat into the ethereal and extremely controversy-free regions of pure do-goodism and pious reflections about myself.
No. Not because of that.
No. I mean, really! Oh come on, how often do I have to tell you?
No! No! No!
It’s because I had this “Big Hens” Chicken Transfiguration vision, you know!
Now, nothing will be the same. Perhaps. I mean. You are getting how sensitive I am, right? OK then…
What will become of this blog?
I do not know.
But when I have eaten too much I do strange things, so you never know.
Please pray for me.
And pass the mayo.
The satanical and sodomitical Puffington Post has an article about the percentage of Catholics over all of Latin America having sunk to 67%; which is, we are told, the worst result ever.
I will not link to the article for various reason (no revenue for the PuffPo, and partially indecent and certainly stupid side images), but this appears to be the fact.
Being perverts and their friends, the PuffPo people think the flock… flocks to the Evangelicals because of the pedophile priest scandal (if you are a pervert or his friend, it is absolutely taboo to mention the Church without the scandal) and because of the “solemn” Catholic masses as opposed to the “emotional, vibrant sermons” of the Evangelicals. If they had respectively said “vapid, childish, and stupid” and “with a recognisable Christian content” they would have gone nearer to reality; but this is the PuffPo, and reality isn’t much high in their list of priorities. They also imply that religion is something for the uneducated poor, as they point out that in Chile and Uruguay – the wealthiest Countries of the region – atheism apparently advances, or so they say, without mentioning data.
Still: the number is there. The Francis effect is… causing losses for Catholicism. Losses in a traditionally extremely catholic continent, and losses even after the hugely expensive and media-hyped exercise of last year’s World Youth Day.
Francis stinks of secularism from the black shoes up. He is a betrayal and a parody of what a Pope is supposed to be. More and more people throw away the baby together with the – admittedly: very dirty – bathwater and start going to Protestant services. I can well imagine many of them have no easy access to even a half decent mass, and have not heard a decent homily from a Catholic pulpit for a long time. No, wait: pulpit? Not many of those are used anymore, either.
And so the Church continues to shrink, and souls are put at risk of damnation, whilst Francis and his friends – some of them heterosexual; some of them Catholic; some of them actually not Marxist – keep having the time of their life.
Even the magazine cover effect is wearing down. When you drug the simple with such massive doses of stupidity and populism, the doses must become bigger and bigger, as the pressure to behave halfway as a Pope grows bigger too.
It will be interesting to know how Francis tackles this problem. He has already stretched the tolerance of Catholics beyond breaking point, and beyond every sense of shame. I can’t think he will start dancing the Tango in St Peter Square.
Perhaps he should just resign whilst he is ahead in the estimation of the simple, and provide a golden retirement for himself.
The cry of “santo subito dopo morto” would be deafening.
The “Gang of Eight” is going to meet again after the disgraceful canonisations of John XXIII and John Paul II.
They want to (trendy word alarm!) “streamline” the Vatican machinery, in order to better manage the continuous decline of Christianity all over the West and to be faster in issuing press releases whenever a Church is desecrated by graffiti, or naked nymphomaniacs.
In order to do so, they want to… create a new layer of administration, in the form of a “coordinator” or “moderator” (no, let's say it in Latin: moderator curiae), whose job will clearly be to add a layer of busybodying into the machinery; thus, ahem, “streamlining” it.
I have already made the comparison between the Vatican machinery and General Motors in the Fifties: a rather monstrous administrative apparatus which felt no desire to “streamline” because it just did not need to. The Vatican is no different. The expenses caused by the couple of thousand priests and prelates there are but a very small exercise compared to the immense apparatus of the Church, an organisation employing around a million only of priests and religious people of both sexes, to which the vast number millions employed by affiliated organisations like Catholic charities worldwide must be added.
If we look at reality in a cynical way, we will see that there is no need for painful cuts, merely a wish that things be cheaper and better organised. Against this, we have the fallen nature of humans, the vanity, at times even the good intentions; creating one day o new office, one day a moderator, one day a new congregation (this might be about to happen, too…).
The necessity to reduce expenses is – rhetoric aside – just not there. The Church is brutally rich and she might not have been so well off – relatively speaking – since the Renaissance. She will not be put out of any “market” if she isn't very lean. To her, efficiency is a thing that looks good in theory, and very difficult in everyday life.
Look at how effortlessly even a circus article like Cardinal Dolan can gather the huge amount necessary to restore St Patrick Cathedral – or an utter disgrace like Mahony could gather more than needed for the edification of the “Taj Mahony” – and realise that the Church has at her disposal virtually unlimited means, that she must only tap when needed in order to satisfy her every material need. By all the rhetoric of poverty, Francis knows it perfectly well.
No, there is no need to streamline anything. The human vanity, though, is still there, and her needs are strong. Francis is, by all his talk, giving the example by promoting people belonging to his circle of friends, thus showing once again that vicinity to the power is better than competence or honesty – or basic decency – every day of the week.
Be one of Francis' buddies and he will put you at the head of a bank even if you are a scandalous sodomite. Be an orthodox religious order and he will crush you no matter how successful you are.
It doesn't look like a recipe for administrative efficiency and honesty to me.
Rather, say hello to the “moderator”.